Verdict: A portrait of a woman at a crossroads, LOTUS by Kay W. Smith is an unflinching look at marriage, secrets, and loss.
An engaging and fast-paced look at the hard choices a woman faces, LOTUS by Kay W. Smith marries a strong protagonist with keen observations on loss and love.
With an ambitious, handsome husband and a promising career, Lotus is living a comfortable life in Chicago. Yet some friction in her marriage and a chance encounter with a former flame leave her reeling, struggling to come to terms with what she wants in her life–romantic or otherwise.
“The one that got away” is now a doctor, and despite his continued interest in Lotus–an engaged one. While Lotus has never quite gotten over what the two of them had together, his duplicity was enough to drive her away from him permanently, where she ended up with her husband, Nick. In addition to the complicated feelings Lous is working through in her persistent attraction to Gabe, she is also wrestling with a stressful job and Nick’s career path which appears to be leading him overseas. Yet another complicating factor comes in the form of news–she’s pregnant.
As the story progresses it becomes clear that Lotus’s current problems–with her husband, with her former lover–have a lot to do with her younger sister’s tragic death half a decade before. Her close relationship with her older sister makes it clear that her friendship with the younger must have been a vital, crucial part of her life and that loss would reverberate through her future. The revelations tied to her fate are done slowly and masterfully and the fullest portrait of the situation is only illuminated in the final pages.
The realistic portrait of a marriage, its pitfalls and comforts is another one of the novel’s strengths. While the love triangle is a major source of conflict for Lotus, the smaller issues within her career and her marriage are realistically written without being trite. The protagonist’s relationships with her confidantes and family are imbued with the same honesty and realism.
A portrait of a woman at a crossroads, LOTUS by Kay W. Smith is an unflinching look at marriage, secrets, and loss.